Here's the most disproportionately popular job in every state

Read full story

  • Popular jobs can vary by state based on occupation distribution.
  • For geographical and economic reasons, certain jobs are concentrated in different pockets of the United States.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on what jobs are disproportionately concentrated in each state.
  • New Yorkers are more likely to be fashion designers than workers in the US overall, and a higher proportion of Texans are petroleum engineers.


The United States is as diverse as it is large.

Colloquialisms, cuisines, and dialects are all regionally dependent. Values, religions, and even occupations are clustered according to geography.

For geographical reasons, certain jobs are concentrated in different pockets of the United States. The environment dictates where certain jobs can be due to the location of natural resources like oil, coal, or natural gas. Careers in ship and marine engineering obviously require proximity to bodies of water. In the same vein, agricultural occupations rely on sprawling farmland for crop growing.

Using recently released data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we took a look at the most overrepresented job in each state and Washington, DC, among professions with at least 1,000 employees in the state. Each of these states has more people working these jobs per capita than the nation as a whole. This is not the most common job in every state - that would be far less interesting, as the most common job in 38 states is retail salesperson.

Instead, these jobs have a bigger share in total employment in a particular state than they do in the US.

For example, Texas has about 17,840 petroleum engineers out of 11,890,880 total employed persons, according to the BLS' estimates. That means about 15 out of every 10,000 employed Texans are petroleum engineers.

Meanwhile, petroleum engineers account for 32,010 jobs in the US, out of 142,549,250 total employees. That means about 2.2 out of every 10,000 employed Americans are petroleum engineers.

The BLS calls the ratio of these two rates the "location quotient" for a job in a particular area. The location quotient for petroleum engineers in Texas, then, is 15/2.2, or about 6.7. That is, there are about 6.7 times as many petroleum engineers per 10,000 workers in Texas as there are in the US as a whole.

Here's the most disproportionately popular job the highest location quotient among jobs with at least 1,000 employees in every state and Washington, DC:

{{}}

View As: One Page Slides

ALABAMA: Tire Builders

ALABAMA: Tire Builders

Number employed: 2,040
Employment per 1,000 workers: 1.06

ALASKA: Transportation Workers, All Other

ALASKA: Transportation Workers, All Other

Number employed: 1,1803.71

ARIZONA: Semiconductor Processors

ARIZONA: Semiconductor Processors

Number employed: 1,8800.69

ARKANSAS: Food Processing Workers, All Other

ARKANSAS: Food Processing Workers, All Other

Number employed: 4,080

CALIFORNIA: Farmworkers and Laborers

CALIFORNIA: Farmworkers and Laborers

Number employed: 189,93011.38

COLORADO: Atmospheric and Space Scientists

COLORADO: Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Number employed: 1,1800.46

CONNECTICUT: Insurance Underwriters

CONNECTICUT: Insurance Underwriters

Number employed: 2,7901.69

DELAWARE: Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

DELAWARE: Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

Number employed: 5,35012.09

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Political Scientists

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Political Scientists

Number employed: 3,6705.19

FLORIDA: Miscellaneous Construction Workers

FLORIDA: Miscellaneous Construction Workers

Number employed: 10,5801.26

GEORGIA: Textile Machine Workers

GEORGIA: Textile Machine Workers

Number employed: 11,9002.76

HAWAII: Baggage Porters and Bellhops

HAWAII: Baggage Porters and Bellhops

Number employed: 1,5302.42

IDAHO: Forest and Conservation Technicians

IDAHO: Forest and Conservation Technicians

Number employed: 2,2403.27

ILLINOIS: Occupational Therapy Aides

ILLINOIS: Occupational Therapy Aides

Number employed: 2,2500.38

INDIANA: Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

INDIANA: Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

Number employed: 4,3101.43

IOWA: Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

IOWA: Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Number employed: 1,7901.17

KANSAS: Aircraft Assemblers

KANSAS: Aircraft Assemblers

Number employed: 7,8705.75

KENTUCKY: Farm and Home Management Advisors

KENTUCKY: Farm and Home Management Advisors

Number employed: 1,1500.61

LOUISIANA: Sailors and Marine Oilers

LOUISIANA: Sailors and Marine Oilers

Number employed: 6,2203.27

MAINE: Logging Equipment Operators

MAINE: Logging Equipment Operators

Number employed: 1,0801.80

MARYLAND: Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other

MARYLAND: Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other

Number employed: 5,5102.07

MASSACHUSETTS: Biochemists and Biophysicists

MASSACHUSETTS: Biochemists and Biophysicists

Number employed: 4,1001.16

MICHIGAN: Model Makers, Metal and Plastic

MICHIGAN: Model Makers, Metal and Plastic

Number employed: 1,630 0.38

MINNESOTA: Slaughterers and Meat Packers

MINNESOTA: Slaughterers and Meat Packers

Number employed: 6,0502.13

MISSISSIPPI: Upholsterers

MISSISSIPPI: Upholsterers

Number employed: 3,4603.09

MISSOURI: Locker Room, Coatroom, and Dressing Room Attendants

MISSOURI: Locker Room, Coatroom, and Dressing Room Attendants

Number employed: 1,770 0.63

MONTANA: Forest and Conservation Technicians

MONTANA: Forest and Conservation Technicians

Number employed: 2,1404.64

NEBRASKA: Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

NEBRASKA: Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

Number employed: 9,4509.74

NEVADA: Gaming Service Workers, All Other

NEVADA: Gaming Service Workers, All Other

Number employed:3,3102.52

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

Number employed: 2,6204.03

NEW JERSEY: Biochemists and Biophysicists

NEW JERSEY: Biochemists and Biophysicists

Number employed: 5,150 1.29

NEW MEXICO: Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas

NEW MEXICO: Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas

Number employed: 1,1601.45

NEW YORK: Fashion Designers

NEW YORK: Fashion Designers

Number employed: 6,7100.73

NORTH CAROLINA: Textile Machine Operators

NORTH CAROLINA: Textile Machine Operators

Number employed: 2,3500.55

NORTH DAKOTA: Roustabouts, Oil and Gas

NORTH DAKOTA: Roustabouts, Oil and Gas

Number employed: 3,0707.37

OHIO: Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

OHIO: Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

Number employed: 7,3101.36

OKLAHOMA: Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas

OKLAHOMA: Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas

Number employed: 1,8001.14

OREGON: Logging Workers, All Other

OREGON: Logging Workers, All Other

Number employed: 1,3900.76

PENNSYLVANIA: Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Ex. EMTs

PENNSYLVANIA: Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Ex. EMTs

Number employed: 2,2700.39

RHODE ISLAND: Protective Service Workers, All Other

RHODE ISLAND: Protective Service Workers, All Other

Number employed: 1,6003.37

SOUTH CAROLINA: Tire Builders

SOUTH CAROLINA: Tire Builders

Number employed: 4,2002.09

SOUTH DAKOTA: Residential Advisors

SOUTH DAKOTA: Residential Advisors

Number employed: 2,3905.69

TENNESSEE: Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

TENNESSEE: Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

Number employed: 2,7400.94

TEXAS: Petroleum Engineers

TEXAS: Petroleum Engineers

Number employed: 17,8401.50

UTAH: Forest and Conservation Technicians

UTAH: Forest and Conservation Technicians

Number employed: 1,3800.98

VERMONT: Industrial Engineering Technicians

VERMONT: Industrial Engineering Technicians

Number employed: 1,5204.99

VIRGINIA: Ship Engineers

VIRGINIA: Ship Engineers

Number employed: 1,4000.37

WASHINGTON: Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

WASHINGTON: Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Number employed: 2,2600.71

WEST VIRGINIA: Roof Bolters, Mining

WEST VIRGINIA: Roof Bolters, Mining

Number employed: 1,3501.96

WISCONSIN: Foundry Mold and Coremakers

WISCONSIN: Foundry Mold and Coremakers

Number employed: 1,7800.63

WYOMING: Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining

WYOMING: Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining

Number employed: 1,4605.45

Add Comment()

Comments ()

X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.